Texaco pulled out of Ecuador in the 1990’s and Ecuador’s national oil company ‘Petroecuador’ has controlled oil production since then. In 2001, Chevron acquired Texaco and with that, the legacy the company left behind in Ecuador’s northern Amazon. In 2011, the Ecuadorian courts found Chevron responsible for toxic waste Texaco dumped into the environment of Northern Ecuador and ordered them to pay billions for the cleanup. A subsequent and much publicized legal challenge on American soil ultimately ruled in Chevron’s favour.
While corporations and governments battle in the courts, I’ve come to understand why the Indigenous communities of Ecuador’s northern Amazon have had to sustain themselves on poorly remediated land, near toxic waste pits and along heavily polluted rivers.